Top seeded and No. 2 ranked Baylor will face non-ranked and sixth-seeded West Virginia at 8:00 p.m. (CT) inside Chesapeake Energy Arena today for the Championship Final of the Big XII Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Today’s 8:00 p.m. Championship Final will air live on FS1 with Ron Thulin (play-by-play) and Brenda VanLengen (analyst) calling the action. Live audio is also available on the Baylor Sports Network, IMG College and ESPN 1660 AM in Waco, Texas. Rick May (play-by-play) and Lori Fogleman (analyst) are on the call.
The Lady Bears (30-2/17-1) advance to the Championship Final after an 88-71 semifinal win over Kansas State. In that game, four Lady Bears scored in double digits and Kalani Brown recorded a double double. Kristy Wallace continues to shine while Alexis Jones sits out nursing the bruised bone in her knee.
Take a few passes off the nose, and you'll get ready for the next no-look pass from Baylor junior point Kristy Wallace.
The "Energizer Bunny" dished out a Big 12 tournament-record and career high-tying 15 assists to help the second-ranked and top-seeded Lady Bears (30-2) beat No. 4 seed and 24th-ranked Kansas State, 88-71, Sunday afternoon in the Big 12 Championship semifinals.
"Just Kristy being Kristy," said Baylor coach Kim Mulkey, who reached the 30-win milestone for the seventh year in a row and eighth time overall. "She got out in transition, and we had numbers a lot of times. She made some no-look passes, she delivered the ball quickly to people up the floor. . . . She's just somebody you would sure like to be on the receiving end of her passes, because she just gives it to you where you can finish."
Senior forward Nina Davis was on the receiving end of a lot of those passes, tallying a season-high 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field. Alexis Prince and Kalani Brown scored 18 apiece and Khadijah Cave had 10 points off the bench.
"She gets pretty much all the credit, 99.1 percent," Davis said of Wallace, who added five point, five rebounds, one block and a steal while turning it over just four times in 38 minutes. "We go as Kristy goes. All year long, she has been our `Energizer Bunny.' . . . She is going to give 100 percent in everything she does, and she has been trying to handle everything since (Alexis) Jones has been out."
Highlights from Yesterday’s Lady Bears Game Against Kansas State
Postgame vs. Kansas State
The Mountaneers (22-10/8-10) advance to the Championship Final after a 62-59 squeaker over No 2 seed Texas in the semifinal round. In that game sophomore Tynice Martin scored a game high 29 points. Only four mountaineers scored points in the game yet each scored in double digits. WVU Sports dot com has the story.
“Give credit to Texas. Man, they come right at us, beginning of the game,” coach Mike Carey said. “We weren't ready for that quickness in the beginning of the game and then we kind of settled down in the second quarter. Then, they came right back at us the third quarter and then we settled down a little bit. Give our players a lot of credit, too. They're playing a lot of minutes and that last five minutes we kept talking about you've got to have heart. Who wants it more? Who wants it more? Both teams played hard, and we're really happy to get the win.”
Today’s game will be the third time this season that the two teams have played against each other with the Lady Bears taking the win on both previous occasions. On January 4 the Lady Bears soundly defeated the (then No. 17) Mountaineers 91-56 in Morgantown.
On January 21, the L:ady Bears’ victory in Waco, 79-73 against the (then No. 24) Mountaineers, wasn’t as easy to come by. Baylor Bear Foundation’s Jerry Hill has that story:
This was a far cry from the Lady Bears' 35-point blowout in Morgantown 17 days ago. Baylor had won its previous seven conference games by at least 23 points and by an average margin of 35.1 points.
West Virginia coach Mike Carey, whose team fell to 15-5 overall and 3-5 in the Big 12, said the difference Saturday was the Mountaineers just "played hard."
"It's a shame," Carey said. "I told the players after the game here, I'm disappointed. We expect to win. But I don't get half as upset. We just didn't execute. They executed better than we did down the stretch, but we played hard. Against Baylor the first time, and we've had several games where we just didn't play hard. And it really is a shame, because you saw at times we can be as good as anybody. We've just got to continue to play hard."
Mulkey echoed Carey's comments, telling the West Virginia coach, "Mike, if your kids played like this, you wouldn't have five losses."
"I've always said that about his team. They have length on the perimeter, they have a ball-handler that runs the show, they have size inside, they have athleticism," Mulkey said. "They guarded us. They made everything we tried to do difficult."
While Baylor shot 45 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle, 42-38, the Lady Bear guards struggled all day with dribble drives by the West Virginia guards. Forward Teana Muldrow led her team with 20 points and eight boards, with guards Tynice Martin, Chania Ray and Katrina Pardee combining for 42 points.
"It's hard to guard anybody one-on-one," Mulkey said. "We just had no flow today on the secondary defenders helping on the drives. We'll get in the gym Monday and fix it. It's hard to guard people that are good one-on-one. But, it's the secondary defender, the help side, that we weren't very good helping each other. How many times did you see one guy go help and the guy on the other side didn't help the helper?"
Lady Bear Highlights from January 21 vs. West Virginia
News Clippings for Today’s Game
- Efficient Baylor women cruise past K-State, to play for seventh straight Big 12 tournament title - WacoTrib.com: Lady Bears Basketball, OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s become habitual for the Baylor women’s basketball team at the Big 12 tournament. Prolific scoring outputs, broken records, winning. "Winning never gets old," said senior forward Nina Davis, who led all scorers with 24 points. "If I’m ever in position where winning championships becomes the same-old same, it’s time for me to stop playing basketball. It’s always a different team. … So, really, the motivation is to win. No one likes to lose, and it’s just different each and every time."’
- Looking back at Baylor's six straight Big 12 tourney titles, Baylor will try to win its seventh straight Big 12 Tournament tonight against West Virginia - take a look back at the Lady Bears' last six titles.
- No. 2 WBB Readies for Big 12 Championship Game - Baylor Official Athletic Site, The No. 2 Lady Bears advanced to their seventh consecutive and 11th overall Big 12 Championship game with an 88-71 semifinal victory against Kansas State. Top-seeded Baylor tips off against No. 6-seeded West Virginia on Monday, March 6 at 8 p.m. (CT).